After the thrills, the tension, the scenery, the sprints, the climbs, the crashes, and the pure joy of the Champs-Élysées comes… the post-Tour depression.
The Tour de France has been ever-present over the last three weeks, and if it’s too soon to say goodbye then these video highlights should do the trick.
This year’s race more than lived up to the pre-race billing. All the talk beforehand focused on the so-called ‘Fab Four’ — and Chris Froome (Team Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) all made it to the finish, making it all the more impressive that Froome was able to establish such dominance over the course of the race.
There were plenty of emotional subplots too. Fans everywhere, no matter what nationality or team allegiance, celebrated when Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) snared the yellow jersey on stage four after narrowly missing out on the three previous days — only for the German to crash out two days later and withdraw from the race. It was heart-wrenching, too, to see Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) retire from the race through illness after a determined effort in the overall classification.
On the positive side, the French had something to celebrate when Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) recovered from a disappointing Tour to win on the famous Alpe d’Huez. And there was a historic moment, too, when Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) became the first African to wear the King of the Mountains jersey.
In the end, however, the race hung on performances of the highest quality by Froome and his Sky team-mates. Despite Quintana’s brave efforts in the Alps, the Kenyan-born Brit had enough to see the race through, and in the process win his second Tour in three years.